This article was originally published May 3, 2022.
With the premiere of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds happening this week, we couldn’t be more excited! The series will focus on both familiar faces and new friends as they journey throughout the stars and explore, well… just what the title promises. For those of you eager to revisit some classic episodes prior to the new series debuting, we’ve collected a list of some fun episodes that highlight returning characters or set up the arcs of new ones. Which episodes are you rewatching? Let us know on social.
"The Menagerie, Part 1 and 2"
The original pilot for Star Trek, “The Cage,” that featured Pike, Spock, and Number One was canceled by the network, but fans were able to see the episode during The Original Series episodes “The Menagerie, Part 1 and 2.” Footage from the original pilot was used to illustrate Spock’s loyalty to Pike as the Vulcan was put on trial for stealing the Enterprise in an attempt to bring Pike to the Talosian homeworld. Viewers were able to see the kind of captain that Pike was, as well as what Spock was like prior to the events of The Original Series. This is the perfect intro episode for fans who want to see the original incarnation of the characters.
Khan Noonien Singh is one of Star Trek’s greatest villains. His first appearance in the franchise was in season one’s “Space Seed',' when Kirk and the Enterprise discover him and his crew asleep in stasis on a ship floating far, far from Earth. For fans who want to know more about why La’an Noonien Singh is a name that has sparked interest among fans, this is the perfect episode to serve as an explainer. Besides, The Wrath of Khan turns 40 this year, and watching this episode is a perfect prelude to diving into the film!
"Journey to Babel"
For those of us who can’t get enough of Spock (and really, isn’t that most of the Star Trek fandom?), “Journey to Babel” is historic in that it was the first deep dive into Spock’s childhood. When Spock’s parents board the Enterprise as part of a diplomatic mission, conspiracy, and intrigue are sure to follow. The episode gives us a good old fashioned mystery as well as a deeper look into what makes Spock tick, something we hope to see on Strange New Worlds.
Nyota Uhura is, to put it simply, an icon. In the first episode to explore alternate versions of the characters, “Mirror, Mirror,” Uhura is trapped along with Kirk, McCoy, and Scotty in a parallel universe that is evil to its very core. As the crew scrambles to find a way back home, Uhura shows she’s no damsel in distress as she aids the others and fends off those who don’t respect her. With Strange New Worlds set to give us even more Uhura then we’ve ever had before, rewatching a few of her TOS episodes will remind all of us that she’s always been a force of nature aboard the Enterprise.
"The Deadly Years"
Nurse Christine Chapel is also not a character to be underestimated. In this wacky season two episode, when most of the command crew begins to age rapidly due to unknown causes, it is Chapel, along with both McCoy and another doctor, who helps synthesize the cure needed to save both captain and crew; she also advocates for giving McCoy more time to find the cure when his ability to work is called into question. If that wasn’t cool enough, she also shows her sarcastic side when Chekov complains about undergoing too many tests. As Chekov bemoans his fate, she cooly tells him “This won’t hurt. Much.” Chapel fans are excited to see both her personality and her medical prowess on display in Strange New Worlds.
"A Private Little War"
Dr. M’Benga doesn’t appear often in The Original Series, but that hasn’t stopped fans from obsessing over him for years. In this appearance, his knowledge of Vulcan physiology helped save Spock’s life. He also revealed that he interned at a Vulcan ward, which means he’s probably the most knowledgeable non-Vulcan when it comes to Vulcan medical practices. He also comforts Chapel as she worries over Spock, though he still takes the time to tease her about her crush on him. Given that in Strange New Worlds, M’Benga will have a Vulcan crewmember to care for and will be working closely with Chapel, it’s fun to see where his character originated as we eagerly await a new and in-depth exploration of his character.
"Through the Valley of Shadows"
If given the option to save yourself from a difficult fate or save the universe, which would you choose? This is the choice presented to Pike in the Discovery episode “Through the Valley of Shadows.” Pike gets a glimpse of the trials facing him in ten years time, when a radiation leak will leave him scarred and wheelchair bound. If he doesn’t take one of the raw time crystals, that future is avoidable, but Pike refuses to shy away from his mission. He won’t turn away from the principles that made him into the man he is, and therefore chooses to seal his fate by taking the time crystal in a bid to stop Control. What impact will that have on the captain? We’ll have to see when Strange New Worlds premieres!
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will stream exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., Latin America, Australia & the Nordics. The series will air on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel & stream on Crave in Canada with additional international availability to be announced at a later date. The series is distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution.
Star Trek: Discovery currently streams exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S. Internationally, the series is available on Paramount+ in Australia, Latin America and the Nordics, and on Pluto TV in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom on the Pluto TV Sci-Fi channel. In Canada, it airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave. Star Trek: Discovery is distributed by Paramount Global Distribution Group.